Frey, Carter win reelection; Mpls. voters reject measure to replace police department (updated)

(l-r) Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, Councilmember-elect Latrisha Vetaw, and Councilmember Andrea Jenkins

All eyes were on Minneapolis this election cycle, as voters had the opportunity to decide the fate of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) more than a year after the police murder of George Floyd.

After a hard-fought effort to get the proposed charter amendment on the ballot, the measure to replace the MPD with a public safety department was ultimately rejected on a 56-44 vote.

Although Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, who opposed replacing the police department, didn’t reach 50% of the first-choice votes on election night, political pundits

noted that his lead was great enough to give him the victory when the other rank-choice votes are tallied.

An exuberant Frey addressed his supporters after the polls closed on Tuesday, stating, “Real progress requires real work,” he said. “Transformational change is within reach if we unite around a common cause to get it done. It’s not about a slogan or hashtag but real work!” Frey said. He also alluded to the battles and humiliation he’s faced and how he “stood for what’s right for the city” in the face of such opposition.

By Wednesday afternoon, Frey was declared the winner of the mayoral race. In his second term, Frey will be in a stronger position, as residents voted in favor of Ballot Question 1’s “strong mayor” amendment. The measure alters the governing structure to give the mayor control over city departments as the chief executive, similar to St. Paul’s structure.

Across the river, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, the city’s first Black mayor, will see a second term, cruising to victory with 62% of the vote.

Rent control measures were set to pass in both Minneapolis and St. Paul. The Minneapolis measure will authorize the city council to regulate rents on private residential properties, while St. Paul voters approved an ordinance to limit rent increases to 3% per year. Both measures passed by a 53-47 vote.

City council shakeup

There were quite a few shakeups on the Minneapolis City Council, as incumbent Phillipe Cunningham was handily defeated by LaTrisha Vetaw on a 60-30 vote. Vetaw will become the first Black woman to represent Ward 4. Councilmember Kevin Reich lost a tight race to Elliott Payne, who will become the first Black man to represent Ward 1.

Jeremy Schroeder (Ward 11) lost his seat to Emily Koski. Cam Gordon (Ward 2) lost in a close race to Robin Wonsley Worlobah. Also, Steve Fletcher (Ward 3) was defeated by challenger Michael Rainville.

Incumbent Councilmembers Jamal Osman (Ward 6), Lisa Goodman (Ward 7), Andrea Jenkins (Ward 8), Andrew Johnson (Ward 12), and Linea Palmisano (Ward 13) saw easy victories. Jeremiah Ellison (Ward 5), however, squeaked out a narrow victory in a race that wasn’t called until after more ranked votes were tallied Wednesday afternoon.

Jason Chavez won outgoing Councilmember Alondra Cano’s open seat in Ward 9 and Aisha Chughtai won her race to replace City Council President Lisa Bender’s seat in Ward 10. Bender announced that she was stepping down last year.

Find more election results by going here.

The MSR will continue to update this story as more election results are known.